Monday, July 10, 2017

Labels, Part II - I Have One Now!

Last fall I wrote about labels and how I didn't feel like any labels applied to me - it seemed that I fell between the cracks when it came to labels for most of my life.  I've kind of gotten used to that, and am OK with not being labeled - I'm like Lenny Kosnowski from Laverne and Shirley, a lone wolf - and I like that.
I just realized that this episode, where Lenny takes pride in being a lone wolf, first aired in 1976 - how can that be??  

However, the topic of aging has recently come up, and with that, labels - as in being called middle-aged, or senior citizen, or the worst, elderly.  I thought middle-aged was bad until I read about someone being referred to as elderly - and they were in their fifties!  As a 54-year-old who does not feel middle-aged, much less ELDERLY, that hit a little too close to home for me.  You might think I'm exaggerating, but this was the title and description of video that was making the rounds online recently:
Elderly Ladies Line Up To Sing And Dance.
While most senior citizens would stick with gardening and feeding the ducks or whatever is considered fun when you turn 55, these ladies set out to make a song about how awesome they are.
For once and for all, come on people - 55 is not elderly!  While the song and dance was cute, the title and description were way too patronizing for me, which is why I'm not linking the video - no hits for you!

As I've grown older, I've felt more and more that I'm not any particular age - well, except for the "I'm fifty and I can do what I want" but that's more of an attitude, I suppose - and a freeing one to have, I must admit.  While I appreciate each birthday, I don't think "oh, now I'm XX, I should be (or shouldn't be) doing this."  I'm 54, but I don't feel 54, if that makes sense.  I don't know how a 54-year-old is supposed to feel, or act, so I'm just continuing to do my thing; it seems to be working for me.

A better article about women of my age range was this one, where we were referred to as perennials, and I have to say, that's a label that I can get behind.  Because what is a perennial, but something that blooms year after year, steadily returning with new growth and life?  I love this so much, and I think I'm finally able to attach a label to myself - I'm a perennial, people!
(picture from Sunset.com)

I daresay that most of my readers are probably in the same non-middle-aged, non-elderly boat as me...and if you're not, it'll be on you before you realize and trust me, you are not going to appreciate those terms being applied to you.  We've got a label, my friends, and it's a good one.  Let's make being a perennial mainstream.

25 comments:

  1. I'm in my mid 40's and sometimes sit back in shock that I'm this age!!! The only reason I think about it is because when I'm 60....or 70...or 80...I want to still be thinking I'm a young whippersnapper!!!

    That said...age is but a number. It is all in our minds! However I heartily believe that a healthy active lifestyle is the biggest factor in being young! :-)

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    1. It IS all in our heads - well, mostly. Sure some things might ache a little more but it doesn't stop us from getting out there, right?

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  2. Here's to perennials! Mr. Helen and I were just having this conversation on the beach yesterday. As you can imagine saying the words "I'm retired" bring out some interesting comments from people. He's a good sport about it. We both agreed that our middle age is NOTHING like our parents middle age was. We both also agreed that we hope we are as genetically blessed as his father - 89 years old and still goes to the gym 5 days a week.

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    1. I imagine it's as odd for you being married to someone who is retired as it is for me to be married to a 60-year-old, LOL!

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  3. I am shocked when I hear people call other people in there 50's elderly! WTH? I am fixing to be 53 this fall and no way do I feel elderly! Thanks for fighting that label for us. I like the idea of being a perennial to.

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  4. It's just a number, and advancing the number isn't my preference. Perennial Power!!!

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    1. I don't mind the number as it advances, but I do mind how I'm perceived based solely on that number.

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  5. I'm 47 and don't feel anything like what I thought middle age would feel like. Except for that chronic back pain, and that's been going on since I was 15, so it's not an age thing. LOL

    I love the perennial label.

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    1. I am 47 also and I don't feel like I thought 47 was going to feel like. It always seemed so old when I was younger. However, I don't feel old at all. :)

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    2. Oh Julie, I know what you mean - back in my younger days, I thought 54 was OLD...ha!

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    3. And Sarah, I know - if this is 54, well then I'll take it - it's not bad!

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  6. The person who wrote the description for the video was probably 19!

    I certainly don't feel "middle age" but I do find my self being more conscience of of the clothes I wear, thinking would a person of this age wear this? (note, I do not dress skimpy, it's just more of a "is this too young of a look" thing to me). Know what I mean? I think "perennial" is a beautiful term to use!

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    1. I agree, it was probably a college intern who wrote that description.

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  7. Yay perennials! I can get behind that term as well.

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    1. I figured you, Ms. Gardener, would like this term. :)

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  8. OMG, people in their 50s being elderly?! Ha! I don't really think of elderly until someone is much older, and really, it's all about how they act. Sigh. People and their wanting to categorize other people.

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  9. I will let my daughters who are millenials know that I am a perennial!

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    1. Love it - hopefully they will appreciate seeing what their future label will be.

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  10. Intellectually I accept the term "senior" because hello? FREE STUFF AND DISCOUNTS :) But the real inside me doesn't think of myself as senior at all. I'm still a young whippersnapper. Of course, using that term kind of shows my age, I guess :)

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    1. You know, Jeff won't take any discounts because of his age, although he had no problem accepting student discounts a few years ago when he went back to school, LOL.

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  11. I am definitely on board for Club Perennial! 56 is nothing like I expected, and I am going to resist the labels as long as I can. Except like what Debby said "Free stuff? Bring it!" Thrifty trumps vanity, I guess LOL

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    1. Club Perennial - I want to go there /Tina Fey

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  12. I saw that article too and I decided that perennial is a label I can get behind!

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